Dalton transactions (Cambridge, England : 2003)

Well-defined N-heterocyclic carbene silver halides of 1-cyclohexyl-3-arylmethylimidazolylidenes: synthesis, structure and catalysis in A3-reaction of aldehydes, amines and alkynes.

PMID 21264392


Structurally well-defined N-heterocyclic carbene silver chlorides and bromides supported by 1-cyclohexyl-3-benzylimidazolylidene (CyBn-NHC) or 1-cyclohexyl-3-naphthalen-2-ylmethylimidazolylidene (CyNaph-NHC) were synthesized by reaction of the corresponding imidazolium halides with silver(I) oxide while cationic bis(CyBn-NHC) silver nitrate was isolated under similar conditions using imidazolium iodide in the presence of sodium nitrate. Single-crystal X-ray diffraction revealed a dimeric structure through a nonpolar weak-hydrogen-bond supported Ag-Ag bond for 1-cyclohexyl-3-benzylimidazolylidene silver halides [(CyBn-NHC)AgX](2) (X = Cl, 1; Br, 2) but a monomeric structure for N-heterocyclic carbene silver halides with the more sterically demanding 1-cyclohexyl-3-naphthalen-2-ylmethylimidazolylidene ligand (CyNaph-NHC)AgX (X = Cl, 4; Br, 5). Cationic biscarbene silver nitrate [(CyBn-NHC)(2)Ag](+)NO(3)(-)3 assumed a cis orientation with respect to the two carbene ligands. The monomeric complexes (CyNaph-NHC)AgX 4 and 5 showed higher catalytic activity than the dimeric [(CyBn-NHC)AgX](2)1 and 2 as well as the cationic biscarbene silver nitrate 3 in the model three component reaction of 3-phenylpropionaldehyde, phenylacetylene and piperidine with chloride 4 performing best and giving product in almost quantitative yield within 2 h at 100 °C. An explanation for the structure-activity relationship in N-heterocyclic carbene silver halide catalyzed three component reaction is given based on a slightly modified mechanism from the one in literature.

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